About McCam

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Kingston, Jamaica
McCam Child Development Centre is the first Inclusive Early Childhood Programme in Jamaica opened since March 1986. The need for this service was determined as the founder, Mrs. Pauline Watson Campbell, an occupational therapist attached to the Mico CARE Centre, realised the loss of years of meaningful intervention for children 0 – 6 years with special needs. Children had to be 5 years and older to be seen at that institution. Some of the services we offer are: A diagnostic kindergarten /grade 1 programme • Developmental assessments • Occupational Therapy & Psycho Educational Assessments and Therapy • After school tutoring • Behavioural Therapy • Special Education Intervention • Speech & Language Assessment and Therapy It has been our mission “To work in collaboration with other persons, agencies and government institutions to impact positively on the lives of children and the families of children with exceptionalities, through the education of young children, their parents, teachers and the community.”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

ADHD Prevalence Study in Jamaica

Prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in students, 4-15 years, attending rural and urban schools In Jamaica

(A study commissioned by the Mc Cam Child Development and Resource Centre)

One of the most frequently diagnosed mental health problems of children globally is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a major concern of child health specialists and educators because it typically undermines a child’s learning potential and impairs social skills and behaviour.

This study sought to determine the prevalence of ADHD in Jamaican students, using a purposive sample of 243 pre-school to secondary level students, 4 – 15 years, attending urban and rural schools in Jamaica. Standardised assessments of behaviours specific to ADHD completed by parents and teachers were used to identify ADHD along with in-depth interviews with parents.

The results indicate almost a quarter of the sample (19.6%) had significantly high symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity as reported by either parent or teacher, with a 3% prevalence rate of the disorder; a rate that is similar to that reported in the international literature. While ADHD symptoms were not found to be related to socio-economic differences, students in urban schools, particularly those in inner city communities, were more likely to be rated as having ADHD symptoms. Teachers were also more likely to rate boys as hyperactive and/or impulsive than girls. Exposure to violence was identified as a key contributing factor why students in inner city schools were more likely to have ADHD symptoms. Medical factors associated with symptom presentation were not strong, with only maternal stress during pregnancy being associated with ADHD symptoms. Of significant association also was a family history of attention problems and hyperactivity as well as family history of drug abuse. Children with ADHD symptoms were also more likely to be in families where there was excessive family conflict, aggressive outbursts among family members and to be physically or emotionally abused.

We also found these students to be more likely held back in class, suspended from school and their parents called in for special conferencing. While students with ADHD symptoms were no more likely than others to get adequate resource help in the classroom, they were however getting extra help in literacy.

These results indicate that students with ADHD symptoms who do not meet the diagnostic criteria of the disorder nonetheless need to be managed. Particular attention and resource help need to be paid to schools in inner city communities but in general, conflict-free and healthy family life habits beginning from pregnancy need to be promoted.

Dr Audrey M Pottinger, PhD

The University of the West Indies


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  3. There are three different categories of ADHD symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity.

  4. i find your article really interested as i believe that i ave a child who is suffering from this symtom. she got expelled from one school and is in the process of being sent home in this other institution. i have an appointment to go see a child pysichiatrist but it is on the 4th of june. what can i do to get better help in finding out if their is a problem with my child as i ave done everything in my power to deal with her' i wish that this problem of adhd will be better known in schools so that a teacher will be able to identify a child suffering from adhd

    1. We do believe that more teachers will greatly benefit from training focused on children with ADHD. We hope that you will be able to receive some support as to how to deal with your child. If you are in need of more assistance or more information before or after your set appointment please feel free to contact our office @ 876 977-0189.
      We will be rebuilding our ADHD Support Group. So check out our website www.mccamcentre.com for future information on that.

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  6. hi, is there a centre in ocho rios or st Anns Bay that deals with children who have ADHD.

    1. Hi, through my inquiries there are no Centres in Ocho Rios and St. Anns Bay at this time, that deal with children with ADHD. Is it a school placement that you are seeking or therapeutic intervention?